When Peter Feldman (IPVS 2004, LSI 2007) reflects on the lessons he learned as a TFAS student in the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service, Alexis de Tocqueville immediately comes to his mind. “As de Tocqueville famously observed: free association – in this case, private foundations, charities and not-for-profit organizations – is a cornerstone of our vibrant American civil society,” he explained.
According to Feldman, whose TFAS internship was with the Philanthropy Roundtable, IPVS focused heavily on the role of private actions in providing for the welfare of the most vulnerable citizens.
IPVS taught me that the nonprofit sector functions as a viable and more direct alternative to large government programs,” said Feldman.
After IPVS, Feldman graduated cum laude from Colgate University and moved on to the American University Washington College of Law. During law school, he attended the TFAS Legal Studies Institute (LSI) in its inaugural year of 2007.
“LSI is also a very special program,” said Feldman. “Our discussion was a detailed focus on the metes and bounds of federal authority under our Constitution.”
Since TFAS, Feldman has remained in Washington and has stayed active in law and politics. He serves as counsel to the Republican staff on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation where he is responsible for consumer protection, antitrust and product safety issues. Prior to his job on the committee, Feldman was an attorney in a private practice and worked on Capitol Hill. Additionally, he worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Office of General Counsel and served as the regional communications director for the McCain-Palin presidential campaign in 2008.
According to Feldman, remaining in Washington, D.C. has allowed him to take an active role in TFAS alumni activities. “I’ve taken full advantage of every opportunity to stay in touch with TFAS,” said Feldman. He was a member of the first class of TFAS Fellows in 2007, he has served as a member of the Alumni Council since 2009 and volunteers to mentor students during the summers. In addition, he is chairman of the TFAS Alumni Ball planning committee: “Mark your calendars for May 11, 2013 – it’s going to be a great party!”